NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that its orders of October 10 and November 3 on the adoption of a new constitution and the ballot for the election of an executive committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) must be strictly followed.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and judges Hima Kohli and JB Pardiwala recorded the Solicitor General’s submission Tushar Mehtaappearing to the Centre, that the constitution of the IOA, as drafted by Justice (Retired) LN Rao, was adopted at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Indian Olympic body and any amendments will not be made only with the express permission of the court.
The higher court then ruled on the contempt plea offered by the petitioner Rahul Mehra alleging violation of Supreme Court directives on October 10 and November 3 regarding the adoption of the draft constitution and the ballot for the IOA Executive Committee to be held on December 10.
Mehra claimed that the draft constitution was adopted at the AIO AGM on November 10, but the minutes of the meeting showed that there were some variations, which were also adopted.
Mehta recorded a copy of the letter from the Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports stating that the constitution, as drafted by Justice LN Rao, “has been adopted by the AIO and all suggestions and amendments will only be adopted only by the express provisions of the court”.
Mehra claimed just before the AGM that a letter had been written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by IOA members regarding the amendments, but the world’s top Olympic body has not responded so far.
“They haven’t responded but they might respond during the interregnum period before the December 10 election,” he said.
Mehta said the court could record his statement that if an amendment is requested to be made to the IOA constitution, it will only be done with the express permission of the court.
Mehra initially read the October 10 order which read, “We would appreciate if the suggested timelines are duly facilitated. Once the new Constitution has been duly adopted and approved by the IOC, the new Constitution will be adopted by the IOA. -General body under compulsory direction of the Court”. He insisted that despite the direction of the court, there was some variation in the constitution adopted at the AGM and that drafted by Justice Rao which was clear. of the minutes of the meeting.
On November 3, the higher court had approved a new timetable submitted by the LN Rao justice committee for the IOA executive committee election to be held on December 10.
The Supreme Court had also authorized the circulation of the draft amended constitution among the members of the AIO so that it could be adopted during the general assembly on 10 November.
The SC had noted that the judge had interacted with all stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the IOA and its state associations.
On October 10, the Supreme Court had approved the timetable for amending the IOA’s draft constitution and its elections, as agreed during the meeting with the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland, on September 27.
He had then approved the holding of the votes of the executive committee of the IOA on December 3, a meeting of the executive board of the IOC being scheduled for December 5.
On September 22, in a bid to ensure a fair and development-oriented approach for the future of the Olympics in India, the highest court had appointed Justice Rao to amend the IOA constitution and prepare its electoral college. .
This all came after the IOC on September 8 issued a “final warning” to the AIO to resolve its governance issues and hold elections by December or else the world sports body will ban India.
The IOC Executive Board, which met in Lausanne, had also decided not to recognize any “acting/interim president” following the ousting of Narinder Batra as head of the Indian Olympic Association, and said that she would deal with the general secretary Rajeev Mehta as the main point of contact.
In May this year, Batra was removed from his position as head of the IOA after the Delhi High Court overturned the ‘Lifetime Membership’ position at Hockey India through which he contested and won the supreme body election in 2017.
Batra then officially resigned as President of the IOA.
The IOC had also threatened to suspend the IOA if it did not proceed with its election as soon as possible.
The AIO elections were scheduled for December last year but could not take place due to amendments in the voting process.
Last December, the AIO formed a six-member committee to consider amendments to its constitution before holding elections to bring it into line with the National Sports Code.

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